Special thanks to Source One Management Services for this guest post

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In today’s world of seemingly constant data breaches, cyber security has become a major topic of discussion in the media with new revelations of hacks occurring daily, but also a critical concern for organizations everywhere. While all businesses work to be as secure as possible, it is agreed that no organization can be completely secure. Preventing attacks, quickly identifying successful attacks, detecting advanced persistent threats, and monitoring systems activity in order to deter intrusions can result in significant business benefits.

That said, how does a company go about sourcing a cyber security provider? Here are five considerations for selecting the best firm for your organization:

1. Market Category Expertise – In a domain such as cyber security, where basic guidelines have yet to be fully implemented, dealing with a vendor that has a distinct level of market understanding becomes a key differentiator. Providers are able to better assist in ensuring compliance with mandatory industry and government security requirements. In addition, they are able to leverage industry specific proprietary intellectual property (IP) assets such as tools, software, platforms and key strategic alliances to create the best security methodologies and frameworks.

As most of my initiatives are with healthcare organizations, ensuring patient safety and security is always a key concern. As access to patient sensitive information becomes exposed with the use of mobile devices, security is seen more as a risk to be proactively managed rather than an isolated activity driven by compliance needs or the resolution of previous security incidents. Having a true market category experience allows providers to demonstrate the ability to understand the clients’ unique needs as such.

2. Diverse Industry Experience – Servicing clients from various fields provides additional security intel and diverse experiences. Organizations in differing industries may have been exposed to certain cyber threats which may not have been previously considered while building a solution with a provider who only deals with one industry. Be sure to consider how the firm’s experience lends credibility to its service capabilities. On the surface, take a look at certifications, references, and overall track record. In doing so, consider how the provider’s experience can be applied to your organization, this includes assessing threats you are and aren’t aware of.

3. Solution Scalability — Providers should be able to provide a fully customizable solution which assures alignment with any organization wide security policies, resources and risks.

4. End to End Solution — The supplier of choice should also offer a complete cyber security solution. Starting with features such as multi-factor authentication all the way to continuous security system audits. While it is advantageous to have a “one-stop shop” for multiple fraud prevention services, it is equally important for a provider to focus on the issues of compliance, integrity, vulnerability, and continuity through auditing. Receiving a unified solution can also simplify security where necessary by offering a single platform.

5. Change Leader — As previously mentioned, cyber security is still an emerging area. Those providers heavily investing in new innovation services with a range of new products in the pipeline are those proactively managing future cyber security concerns.

Ultimately, when selecting a managed security service provider, choose a provider you trust. While outsourcing the tactical tasks related to security can lessen the burden on internal resources, someone within your organization should still serve as the security “owner” or lead. Be sure to clearly identify the responsibilities for both your organization and the service provider. Finally, do your due diligence. Don’t be shy when it comes to asking difficult questions or insist on facility tours to ensure the security provider can meet your needs.

Iyana Lester

Iyana Lester is a Project Analyst at Source One Management Services, a proven market leader in helping companies implement and optimize their telecom infrastructure while reducing acquisition and management costs. Iyana is an expert in RFx development, negotiation and management of contracts, project evaluation and monitoring, performing market research, and development of market assessments.

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